Turkish Minute

Another Uber driver attacked and threatened in İstanbul

A woman opens the UBER application on her mobile phone at the Eminonu district on March 30, 2018 in Istanbul. Uber has enjoyed growing popularity in Istanbul, and this has stoked tensions with the official taxi drivers, who have brought legal cases against the firm in Istanbul in a bid to have the app blocked in Turkey, AFP reports. Tensions have also spilt over into violence, with Uber drivers complaining of being verbally harassed, beaten up or even shot at. / AFP PHOTO / OZAN KOSE

An Uber driver was attacked by taxi drivers on Saturday after he responded to a call from İstanbul’s Esenyurt district, the T24 news website reported.

The driver, Ersen A., whose last name was not disclosed, approached a shopping mall to pick up his fares but was blocked from entering traffic by a group of taxi drivers.

As the Uber driver had locked his doors, the taxi drivers only managed to damage the vehicle and verbally threaten Ersen A., who subsequently went to a police station to file an official complaint about the incident.

Uber drivers have recently been having a difficult time in Turkey, with numerous attacks and threats reported.

In March the İstanbul Taxi Drivers Commercial Chamber filed a lawsuit against Uber in Turkey, stating that they did not want to vandalize the streets but that they would if politicians fail to take any measures.

In fact, politicians have backed taxi drivers in their campaign against Uber. Both ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputies received taxi drivers in their offices in Parliament and issued supportive statements.

However, they have lost public support. According to a report on the Sputnik news website in March, there was a drastic increase in Uber users after the taxi drivers’ attacks and threats.

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